SA men held in Zim over diamond smuggling

2015-01-09 19:47

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Harare - Two South Africans are being held in police cells in Zimbabwe's eastern city of Mutare on allegations they were trying to smuggle diamonds from the Marange diamond fields, it was reported on Friday.

The two have been named as Mark Posthuman, 47, and Johannes Hendrik Nel, 40.

The Manica Post newspaper, which is published in Mutare, said the pair appeared in court on Monday along with two Zimbabweans.

They have been remanded in custody until 13 January, according to the report.

The two men were arrested at a roadblock in Nyanyadzi, which is on the main highway between Mutare and South Africa, and is near the Marange diamond fields.

Police reportedly found five rough diamonds underneath the seat of the car they were travelling in.

The date of the arrest was not immediately clear.

"The four accused... were arrested after a tip-off was made to Sergeant Phiri stationed at Nyanyadzi that passengers who were in a Mitsubishi vehicle... were buying diamonds at Hot Springs," State prosecutor Brian Goto was quoted as saying in the Manica Post.

Hot Springs is a resort near Marange.

Diamonds were first discovered in Marange in 2006 sparking a frenetic diamond rush, but the military moved in 2008.

Around 200 villagers were killed in the subsequent clampdown, according to a 2009 report by Human Rights Watch.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  crime  |  southern africa
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